5 December 2016 - Canale d’Alba & Milan


You might think you’ve seen everything as far as wine label design goes. There is graphic art of the highest order out there glued to bottles of fine and indeed lesser vintages. But it took Milanese brand design agency Reverse Innovation working with Matteo Correggia winery to come up with one that can be classed as literature.

Librottiglia is the name of the product, hot off the press and already winner of several prestigious awards.

Simply put, it’s a range of tiny books whose front cover also serves as the wine label, their pages secured by a thin string tied around the half bottle (375 ml). Uncork the bottle, untie the string and you have the wherewithal to combine two of life’s greatest pleasures.

What Reverse Innovation and Matteo Correggia actually did was to select three of the winery’s trademark wines – we’re in the Langhe-Roero region here – and convince established authors to write original short stories in genres reflecting the characteristics of those wines. So it was that the intense, ruby-red, Nebbiolo-based Roero inspired a passionate love story written by Regina Nadaes Marques; Patrizia Laquidara came up with a captivating fable to go with Anthos, a dry Brachetto with unexpected strawberry notes; and a murder mystery with a dash of humour by Danilo Zanelli was deemed an excellent pairing for a bright-and-breezy Roero Arneis.

Cover design is label design, and vice versa. The Librottiglia style is 1950s minimalist. Above a distinctive essential cover illustration is the author’s name and the title, and below it the wine type and attributions. The winery logo stands in quaintly for that of the publisher. Cover and pages are printed on the same high-quality, textured paper.

Librottiglia (Bookottle?) has practically vacuumed up packaging design awards this year. The juries are still out on the literary prizes, for stories that are only in Italian for now. But then I can’t think of a better excuse to kick-start, refresh or perfect one’s Italian.

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Images courtesy of Reverse Innovation.